Core Biogenesis, a French biotech startup that specializes in plant-based cell therapy manufacturing, reeled in $10.5 million in series A funding to build a new production facility.

The company, which was founded in 2020, said it will construct a new facility to produce growth factors and cytokines for the expanding cell therapy market and cellular agriculture industry. The startup will also use the funds to hire scientific and technical staff at the plant, which is expected to operational by the first quarter of 2023.

Following the explosive growth of mRNA vaccines in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, drug developers have begun investing in plant-based technologies for future vaccines and treatments, Core Biogenesis says. For its part, Core’s tech uses flax seed to produce proteins that are extracted and purified to create raw materials that can be used in pharmaceuticals.

“We achieve high yield while eliminating the biosafety risk of endotoxin, virus, and prion contamination seen with current mammalian and microbial expression platforms,” Alexandre Reeber, chief executive and a co-founder of Core Biogenesis, said in a statement.

Although the company’s molecular farming platform can capture recombinant growth factors ranging from human therapies to cultivated meats, Core Biogenesis says it’s focused on driving down the high costs and complex nature of next-gen therapies such as cell therapies. The company estimates the cell therapy market will grow from $9.2 billion last year to $65 billion by 2027.

Ange, a Paris-based science and technology venture capital firm, led the round. Other investors included Blue Horizon Ventures and Thia Ventures.

Core won’t be alone in exploring plant-based manufacturing applications in biopharma. More than a year ago, GSK partner Medicago said it was taking COVID-19 vaccine production into the greenhouse. Dubbed Covifenz, the vaccine won approval in Canada in February.